Van Damme It
Unlike Memorial Day and Independence Day, the Labor Day holiday weekend has a historically poor showing at the box office, as it marks the end of the lucrative summer season. Consequently, there’s only one major new offering tomorrow to take in between beach-house BBQs and back-to-school shopping.
Jean-Claude Van Damme is back in “Knock Off,” starring as a Hong Kong jeans salesman who coincidentally knows enough martial arts to battle a Russian terrorism conspiracy with the help of comedy sidekick Rob Schneider. The movie was directed by Tsui Hark, who reunites with Van Damme after last year’s “Double Team.” If at first you don’t succeed….
There are also two smaller, less kickbox-centric films opening. The romantic comedy “Next Stop Wonderland” stars Hope Davis (“The Daytrippers”) as a recently dumped nurse who begins to accept dates responding to the personal ad her mother printed for her. And “Firelight” (New York and L.A. only) is an 1800’s period piece, featuring Sophie Marceau (“Braveheart”) as a woman who bears a child for a wealthy landowner to settle her father’s debt, but years later is hired to be a governess to her biological daughter. It is the directorial debut of screenwriter William Nicholson (“Nell,” “Shadowlands”).